We read articles and listen to talk show doctors. We hear advice from our friends, and most everyone has purchased a book or 50, all in the name of weight loss.
Then there is the $66 billion diet industry always whispering in your ear all of its proven secrets.
The problem lies, not in finding the perfect foods to eat or not to eat, or in having a meal plan or learning your macros. It’s in finding out how you can create a change for yourself that works and one you can stick to for your life. It is always good to have a working knowledge of calories and macro-nutrients. This will help you navigate your journey. But it is a tool, not the answer.
If this simple knowledge was the answer, we wouldn’t have an obesity crisis. We wouldn’t need another person telling us how to exercise, what to eliminate, and what to sacrifice. All of these problems would be solved!
But unfortunately, we are nowhere near solving these issues. Problems such as overeating, eating for emotional reasons, and sugar addiction, just to name a few, cannot be fixed with a new “diet.” There are quite a few reasons that can be attributed to the weight loss crisis, but having a new Green, Blue and Red diet is not the answer.
Is there a simple fix? NO
Is it solvable? YES
Some strategies do help, but first, we must look at the real reason all of this is happening. Having a meal plan and utilizing a point system that is all good but ask yourself if you will be able to stick to this for the rest of your life? Is this something you can build into your day, your week, your month? These things might be a good starting point, they definitely bring awareness and that can be helpful. But when you are done, then what will you do?
Maybe it’s time to get off the merry-go-round and find out what works for you.
Let me share some of the major ways you can step up and make a difference for yourself:
1. Start with more awareness. In my past life I moved from moment to moment without a single thought towards what was and wasn’t working for me. I’d eat for all the wrong reasons. I didn’t even know what true hunger felt like. I was eating foods that triggered addictive issues with me. I was eating to fill a void, boredom, and I ate out of anxiety. Does any of this ring a bell? This problem of not understanding why you are even eating, or how much, is actually the #1 challenge for most people. We really just need to tune into ourselves. This isn’t some new-age thought; it is real. In our busy world of go-go, we override our real emotions while placating the ones on the surface. This causes us to continuously flat line with our eating habits. We don’t know when we are hungry anymore. We are three miles away from hunger at any given point. If we learn to listen and help the body re-create the signals it sends us, we can eat when hungry, enjoy the food, and stop.
2. Skipping the part where we learn about ourselves puts us at a great disadvantage. Not to say we can’t do a little multitasking here, but what I see is people jumping ahead of these important steps only to bang their head against the wall with ridiculous dieting. Let's face it, it can be taxing to learn about who we are and why we are doing something. Just give me the diet plan, please.
3. This next one is big: Allow time for your body to adjust to the changes being made. Allow time for you to develop new ways of doing things. This takes time- not only for your mind, but for your body. If you are over 50 you will not lose weight as you did in your 40’s. Your body has changed and hormones are not our best friends. The way the body processes carbohydrates changes, we store fat in our middle section and that fat can be hard to lose. We need to trick the body a bit, create a new game plan, and that game plan includes a huge shift in ….
4. ATTITUDE! I’m not referring to a teenager attitude thing; this is about the way you see and work through this new process. As Betty Davis said, “This ain’t for sissies”. This is about the realization that weight loss and this journey can be challenging at times, yet so rewarding at other times. So hop off of that scale and start to calculate your wins in a more meaningful way. Does it mean you let go of the weight loss? No! But strap yourself in and allow your body to change on its own timeline. Otherwise, you are pushing your canoe upstream which is pretty hard to do.